I made a promise to myself years ago that I would take any charge of "racism" thrown at me seriously and examine it fearlessly.
While he didn't refer specifically to me, Glenn Greenwald has suggested that the position of many of the people who I tend to agree with about our current war on al Qaeda is fueled by privilege.
So let me ask myself some probing questions to see if there is any truth to the charge.
When it comes to the war on al Qaeda, is it racist to struggle with the world as it is rather than attempt to live in a world as we want it to be?
Is it racist to be frustrated that a focus on due process is the wrong argument to be making considering the rationale being made for targeted killing has been articulated in terms of the "war" authorized by the 2001 AUMF?
Is it racist to see targeted killing as an improvement over invading countries based on lies?
Is it racist to suggest that we see our current situation in the context of this country's history?
Is it racist to suggest that a focus on the tactic used to fight the war on al Qaeda is a distraction from the conversation we need to be having?
Finally - and most importantly - is it racist to suggest that we focus on ending this indefinite war rather than codifying it?
The assumption Greenwald needs to make to suggest that people like me are fueled by racism is that we simply don't care about the brown people being killed by this war. I think its obvious from the above links that nothing could be further from the truth.
I would instead suggest that Greenwald doesn't feel the need to address the actual arguments his critics are making and is content to caricature them for his own convenience. In other words, he's more interested in being right than in having an actual dialogue. It seems to me that there is a certain privilege at work in that way of interacting with the world.